How do I work with God (3) Work motivations (33)
By: Servants of God’s Love Hostel
Working with God is a necessity, and not a choice, that was said by Apostle Paul in (first Corinthians 9:16) that he who realizes the true meaning of forgiveness, good eternity and God’s fatherhood can never hold his peace. The problem is that our realization is not complete or not exist and the evidence for this is the absence of real fruit. The last commandment that the Lord Jesus said to us “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16: 15) while the word evangelism has become just a word we say and slogans we repeat and recite in our prayers without understanding or focus. We all say with the loudest voice in the Divine Liturgy that “thy death, Lord, we preach” but what is the truth of that in our life?!!
This series, simply and quietly, will take you through the spiritual life to realize the meaning of working with God. If you want a real benefit, you need to start it from the beginning and to apply its practical steps so that the fruit is natural and not contrived, and the perception is real and not imaginary.
The Lord Jesus inflames our hearts and the hearts of his people with the salvation of souls and gives us real awareness, by the intercession of our virgin Mary and the prayers of our honorable father, his holiness Pope Tawadros II, glory be to our God in his church forever. Amen.
On my way to my spiritual father to continue the previous talk, I heard his words in my mind as a thunder in the desert. (He who realizes can never hold his peace and he who holds his peace he didn’t realize!!)
Then I said to myself: “oh, from the time that father told me these words, I can’t sleep, frankly, the word evangelism is new for me, all what I know is (Evangelism festival) but to preach and to be like the Apostles and change people, is totally new and far from me. I need to know more details from my spiritual father.
I said: peace for you, father.
Father said: peace and grace for you, son. How are you doing?
I said: Thank God. But frankly the previous talk was very new and very weird to me although I am convinced of it. I need more details, please.
Father said: Today, we will talk about the motives of working with God. Because if we want to succeed in any work, it should be strongly motivated.
The stronger the motivation was, the more zeal and activity to work.
I will tell you a story to clarify the importance of the motivation in the work:
One time a young man went to a Greek wiseman and said to him: “I want to learn the principles of success. How do I succeed in my life?”
The wiseman: The first principle for success is the motive, as long as you have a real motive, you will strive to succeed while if you don’t have the motive you will feel lazy and tired all the time.
The young man: Wonderful words, but can you please, explain them to me practically or with something concrete?
The wiseman: I will explain to you, son.
And then the wiseman started to pour some water in a plate, then he asked the young man: what is this?
The young man: This is a plate full of water.
The wiseman: I ask you: please, put your head in the plate.
The young man: ok
Then the wiseman put the head of the young man in the plate and pressed on it strongly, after a while the young man felt suffocated.
Then the young man cried out saying: enough, enough, I got it, I understood. But the wiseman was still pressing on his head so the young man tried so hard with all his might and finally he got rid of the hand of the wiseman.
The young man: what was that, wiseman?!! Are you teaching me or are you killing me?!!
The wiseman: this is the first principle for success, to have the motive. Because you appreciate the value of life and you know that if your head continues in the water, you will die. So, you used all your strength to get rid of my hands and to raise your head from the water. Like this, if you want to succeed in any work, you should have strong motive to do it, by which you can strive to succeed in this work, got it son?
So, to succeed in the work with God, you should have a strong motive and the first motive is to perceive God’s favor to us.
And the first favor to perceive is:
If we do not save our souls or others’ souls then any evil can befall us.
(brotherly love- Saint John Chrysostom)
perception of the full forgiveness to our sins,
How can we preach salvation and forgiveness when we are unconvinced or unaware of them?!!
if someone preaches people saying:
“come to Jesus, accept Jesus, believe in Jesus”
People will ask him “what will we gain from Christ?”
“what do you mean with believing in Jesus?”
He will answer: “Jesus will forgive you your sins, he will cleanse you because he died and redeemed us.”
Then they will ask: “did he forgive you your sins?”
Then this person will think in his mind: “did Jesus forgive me my sins?!! Oh no!! still there are some unforgiven sins. But He forgives. He forgives.
So, they will answer: “ok, when He forgives you first, He forgives our sins later!!”
when you believe in what you are preaching with, so come and preach us.
father continues: so, if we don’t have confidence in what we are preaching with, our preaching will be just words without meaning nor effectiveness.
so, perception of free instant complete forgiveness to our sins is the first motive to work with God, if we don’t have full confidence in the complete forgiveness, we will never preach as we should.
With the death and resurrection of Christ, we became free from the authority of the devil, and also the authority over the devil became for us.
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)
So, if we don’t believe that Jesus Christ had forgiven all our sins and the devil has no authority over us, our preaching will be without any meaning and with no effect.
Also, if we preach without realizing these beliefs, we will be like one who invites people to a group or a party and not to a heavenly and eternal life with Christ.
I said: this means that I must be without sin in order to preach with Christ!!
Father said: As we had explained before, there is a difference between a soldier who fights, gets wounded, and returns to the commander to heal him and a soldier who surrendered, became a prisoner and refused to return.
Satan has no authority over us, but all he can do is to fight us. This does not mean that we have became slaves. To be wounded in a war, does not mean that we are lost and defeated.
I said: frankly father, this point is a cause of frustration for many young people who feel that as long as they fall into sins, they are rejected from God.
Father said: because of that, we want to preach the gospel of Christ, good news of forgiveness and salvation and that Jesus came to let us free.
Jesus said: “Therefore if the son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
So, without believing in Christ, humanity will remain in bondage to Satan, all humans will remain slaves to sin and the devil, but believing in Christ gives freedom, forgiveness and authority over Satan. And this is the message that Jesus wants us to preach.
Jesus wants to say to the world: “I came to you and had forgiven all the world’s sins. Whoever believes in me will be set free from the authority of Satan. Whoever follows me I will purify him and wash him from all his sins, and this is my message which I want you to tell people. You are my children, my witnesses; tell your brothers and sisters who don’t believe my forgiveness for them that I love them and that I forgive their sins. I need you to get my message across to the whole world, if indeed you accept my forgiveness, you should preach it. Why would you enjoy forgiveness and leave your brothers to live slavery to Satan?! Why would you experience my grace and leave your brothers deprived of it?!
Feel my heart that bleeds on my poor children because they know neither my forgiveness nor my love. Fell my fatherhood as I long for the whole world to be saved and to enjoy my forgiveness. What rejoices in my heart is that you preach my salvation and my forgiveness to all the peoples of the earth, you know?”
He who realizes the meaning of forgiveness can never hold his peace, forgiveness is for free in Christianity; man falls into sin and God is the one who pays the price, even though it is man who deserves the punishment. And that’s Christianity’s privilege.
I asked: what does it mean that man falls into sin and God pays the price?
Father answered: the wage of sin is DEATH, therefore when a person sins, he becomes worthy of death; but when he returns and repents, he is purified in Christ’s blood and does not die (spiritual death). So, forgiveness in Christianity is completely free_ God paid the price of our sins on the cross.
Like a son cracking and breaking a car windshield on the street and his father pays for it.
It was written “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24)
So he who realizes the meaning of complete forgiveness, freedom and salvation can never hold his peace and if he doesn’t preach he will be dishonest and his realization is not true.
How can we enjoy forgiveness and leave our brothers around us living as slaves of the devil?!!
How can death be, that Christ comes and dies in order to redeem all of humanity and we accept Him and rejoice in Him while we leave our brothers deprived of Him?!!
Frankly my son: HE WHO REALIZES AND EXPERIENCES THE TRUE FORGIENESS CAN NEVER HOLD HIS PEACE.
I said: yes, indeed father he who perceives the true forgiveness can never hold his peace.
What is the second favor to perceive?
Father answered: the second favor to perceive is to believe in good eternity.
Jesus came to the Earth to give us the eternal life, so he who believes in the good eternity can never hold his peace while, if we are not confident that we have eternal life, what can we preach? What will we say to people?
If someone cried out saying: “come, believe in Jesus Christ, accept Jesus,”
People will ask him: what do you mean by believe in Jesus? Tell us how we can believe.
You can believe by doing these things:
praying the seven prayers and fasting for two hundred days a year and keeping all the commandments.
All right, and after doing all of this what will be our destiny? Where will we spend the eternity?
Do not ask this question, it is according to the circumstances, mostly, we all will spend the eternity in the hell.
So why do we pray and fast as it is at last our eternity will be in the hell? We will eat, drink and do what we want to do, then if our destiny will be the hell, it is ok.
Father continues: So, if we are not confident of good eternity, our preaching is null and our words are with no meaning, because why do we strive while knowing that our destiny is the hell?
But he who believes in good eternity, cannot hold his peace, even if it was the last moments of his life.
There was an English preacher who was 75 years old who lived most of his life preaching in India. One day while he was preaching at a meeting in England about the importance of evangelism, he said: “evangelism is that we present Christ to the people who live in pagan worship and this is the last commandment that Christ said to the disciples. Christ gave His blood to redeem the whole world and wants that the whole world to accept salvation, so, we do not have to let the blood of Jesus to go to waste, but we must feel the heart of the Lord Jesus. The joy of Christ is that people are saved and know His forgiveness. The joy of Christ is that all peoples know His fatherhood and His love.
And we are responsible for delivering the message of love and forgiveness to all peoples because this is His last testament to us. Everyone who knows the love of Christ and trusts in the fatherhood of God and has the hope of the happy eternity cannot conceal his testimony.
There are still people who worship stones and also those who worship fire, there are many people who need to know the true God and to hear about salvation, we are responsible for that.”
Father continues: while he is talking, he got tired and then he fainted so, people took him to the hospital, and the doctor told him, “you are tired and need to have rest for some time.”
Then he refused and said to him, “I will not be able to rest until the after I complete the sermon”. Indeed, he returned to the meeting and continued saying, “I want to tell you that there are many nations that need to know the light of Christ and to know his love, there are many people who long to know the true love of God and if there is no one among the young people who will go to complete the preaching, I am ready, despite of my old age, to go back and spend the rest of my life in India preaching salvation and eternity to the people for whom Christ died. If you know the value of every soul in the sight of God, every soul is worth the blood of Christ and this is our responsibility to inform and preach this until the last breath.”
Father said: frankly son, our problem is that we don’t appreciate the value of eternal life.
I said: why don’t we appreciate the value of eternal life, Father?
Father said: frankly, we do not appreciate the value of eternal life because we do not believe in it.
If a young man who had a strong relationship with Christ died suddenly, you find people grieving and getting depressed saying “this young man died while he was young, he did not live his life, but died while he was young!!”And they forget that he had a relationship with Christ and that he will go to spend the happy eternity and also, he won his battle with the devil and took the wreath of glory and victory.
While if a person was too old and had not a relationship with Christ then he died, we say “this is better for him, he was tired of sickness and he had rest”
How is this better for him?!! What is the rest that he has now?!!
The problem is not that he died a young man or an old man, but what matters is whether or not he had a relationship with Christ, did he live the heaven from here or not? If we think this way, we will never mourn anyone who dies and has a relationship with Christ, but we will be happy that he triumphed and won the eternity.
As if someone is travelling in the sea in the midst of high waves and dangerous storms, when he arrives safely at the port, we will be happy for him and we will never mourn him.
One of the servants said: “when my father died, I had two opposing feelings. I was sad about parting him because I loved him so much , for he who made me love Christ and taught me how to believe in forgiveness, but I had other feelings, they were feelings of joy because he won and reached the port and became in the bosom of Christ; my father loved Christ very much and was not afraid of death at all.
If he who saves someone from physical death receives dignity, although if he does not die today, he will die tomorrow; how much more deserves it who saves a soul from eternal death and causes it to have an eternal life glory that it never loses.
(the brotherly love)
So, I started singing this hymn:
(our victory is magnified by the one who loved us)2 (Jesus the faithful redeemer who was crucified for us)2 then I felt all my sadness had turned into joy, and I felt happy for my father for his victory over death; and also, I felt as if I was taking someone, I love to his wedding or to the place where he would be honored.”
Father said: our big problem is that we don’t have the eternal view.
I said: what does eternal view mean?
Father said: the eternal view means that we know that our life is not just the years which we live on Earth but our life here on Earth is a small part and the rest of our life will never end; we will complete it in heaven, and when we compare them, we will find that our life, no matter how long or short, is for eternity just steam and our permanent place is in heaven.
“for here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)
Father said: so, our life here is temporary and compared to eternity is considered nothing, and this is a hope for every tired and sick person and also, comfort for every poor and needy person; this makes us jealous for the salvation of souls.
So, when we acquire the eternal outlook, it will not concern us to be sick or in health, neither rich nor poor, but all that matters to us is our relationship with Christ and do we have hope in eternal life or not. If we have real hope in the happy eternity, we will never hold our peace.
Father continues: an atheist said: “if I were a believer like millions of Christians who say that believing in God and following His commandments determines the eternal destiny, faith would be everything in my life, the first thing that comes to my mind in the beginning of my day and also, the last thing I thought about before bed. And it will be for me that one person who believes in Christ is equal to the win of the whole prizes in the world. The issue is dangerous. It is not a day or two, but an eternal word is a serious word. I do not know why don’t Christians have enthusiasm and jealousy for the fate of the people around them?
Frankly, if their faith is true, their concealing of the truth will be a crime against humanity.”
Father continues: how can he who sees his brothers in humanity heading towards eternal destruction, conceal the truth?
How can he let those around him perish while he knows the way to the happy eternity?
Frankly, whoever does this, is committing a crime against humanity.
“therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)
I said: actually father, it is a sad thing. People around us need to hear the truth and we conceal it.
Please, tell me the third favor to perceive.
Father said: the third one is to perceive the fatherhood of God.
We should know that as we are Christians, we can call God “our father”. Christianity is the only religion through which a person can say that God is his father, and prays saying “our father”. It is the only religion that teaches that God is a friend and a lover to man.
“therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Galatians 4:7)
As Jesus came and made us free and children of God, without believing on Christ, one can never say that God is his father because God’s fatherhood is linked to our faith in Christ.
He who appreciates the meaning of the fatherhood of God cannot hold his peace and let his brothers live in slavery and in the terror of God.
Father continues: there was a preacher in a country all of them pagans and he used to say to them: “God is the one who created the heavens and the Earth, and He is also the one who created us and loved us; He is very close to us and everyone who accepts His love will live in joy and peace. Everyone in humanity God loves him in his name.”
People asked him: “is it possible that God loves us and is close to us?!! No, no, God is very far from humans; we fear Him and worship Him in order to be safe.”
But what does it mean that God loves us?
He answered: “God is very close to us and He is our father so, we can pray and say to Him “our father” for we are His children.”
They asked “how do you say that-we are servants of God-God is very far from us, God is so great, how do you say that we are children of God?!!
He answered“ God took a body and appeared, His name was Christ, He wiped us from our sins and saved us from perishing; His name was the word of God because He spoke to us about God and His love; everyone who believes in Him becomes a son and not a slave and his relationship with God becomes a relationship of love and not bondage, so, believing in Christ makes us children of God and then we can call Him our father, love Him and not to be afraid of Him.”
People asked: “is it reasonable to love God and not to be afraid of Him?!! New talk on us, but we don’t mind hearing from you; we worship God because we are afraid of Him; why do we worship Him if we don’t fear Him?!!”
He answered: “God does not need slaves and does not need anyone to fear Him. God is love and everyone who knows Him, loves Him. He does not need anything from us, but He came to our land to give us everything.”
Father continues: this was a powerful key to evangelizing these people and to talk to them about THE LOVING GOD whom we can call “father”. This was a powerful start for them to think and understand the difference of God in Christianity.
In Christianity, man became a son after he was a slave. So, realizing that we became children and not slaves makes within us jealous for our brothers who feel bondage and fear of God. how can we rejoice in the fatherhood and in the love of God the rest of our brothers in humanity suffer and live like slaves?!!
Whoever realizes the fatherhood of God cannot hold his peace.
These are the privileges of Christianity.
If someone asked you “why are you a Christian? What is the reason for you to be satisfied and convinced of Christianity?”
You will answer him “because Christianity is three doctrines:
First: God became my father, Christianity is the only religion through which a person can call God “father”, also a friend and a lover.
I said: and the second doctrine?!!
Father said: the second doctrine is the free forgiveness.
Christianity is the only religion that teaches that God Himself who will pay for human’s guilt. For the wages of sin are death but Christ died for our sins and gave us the free redemption.
A person can’t pay for the wages of sin, or bear the result of his guilt and there is no animal sacrifice can forgive sins.
“for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4)
Apostle Paul says that the blood of bulls and goats can’t take away sins, for it is impossible to equalize the value of man with bulls and goats.
I said: of course, an insult if a person’s value equal to goats or bulls.
But in the old testament, the sacrifices were made by animals!!
Father said: yes, indeed. In the old testament these sacrifices were used but they were just symbols, to know that redemption is a must and sacrifice is a must as well.
“for the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.” (Hebrews 10:1)
That is why all the sacrifices of the old testament did not forgive sins, but they were merely a symbol of the forgiveness that was accomplished by the blood of Christ, and everyone who died before Christ-even our father Abraham and David and all the prophets were in the hell until Christ came and by His death and resurrection, He ascended them and set them free.
In Christianity, the human being has a very precious value in the sight of God.
God has incarnated and gave His blood for us, and forgiveness is completely free, it only needs a person to accept it with repentance.
I said: forgiveness is free but it only needs to be accepted by a person by repentance.
What is the third doctrine?
Father said: the third doctrine is believing in the good eternal life.
In Christianity, we are confident that we will go to heaven in the hereafter and we live on this hope; also, entering heaven in Christianity does not depend on our deeds but on the love and grace of God.
He who accepts God’s love for him, his destiny will be the heaven in the eternal life and he who refuses the love of God, he refuses to live with God. So, accepting love is the condition.
I said: thus, keeping the commandments is not necessary to determine my eternal destiny, right?
Father said: of course, the commandments are important, but love is the beginning. The proof that love is true is keeping the commandments. The more I love God, the more I adhere to His commandments and the more I love my closeness and living with Him. Heaven is not a place that I buy with my obligations or my striving, but a place that I will go to because I want to be there, and if I don’t love God, how can I live with Him in heaven.
I said: yes, indeed. If a person will live in a place with someone he doesn’t like, forever, it will not be a heaven but the hell itself.
Father said: so, I am Christian and I chose Christianity because of three reasons:
I am child of God (only in Christianity) I believe in free complete forgiveness.
I believe that my eternity will be in the heaven.
“thank you, Lord, because I am Christian. Thank you, because I am a son not a slave, a son that you love and the life with you is so awesome not tiring or boring. Thank you, because you have redeemed me and my value became equal to your blood. What a grace, Jesus!! You have paid off my debts!! I deserve the wages of sin and you died for me!!
Thank you, because of the happy eternity that I will spend with you, I do not fear death because it is not death but arrival to your bosom.
Please Lord, let me feel my brothers in humanity and everyone that deprived of your fatherhood, your forgiveness and the happy eternity.
Let me feel responsible for them and give me strength and wisdom to preach everyone.”
I said: great talk, father. So, the first perception is to perceive God’s favor to us, what is the second?
Father said: second perception needed to work with God is to perceive the value of souls.
Every soul has a great value equal to blood of Christ; Christ died for each one specially and everyone has special value in Christ’s sight.
“fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name, you are Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
So, each one of us is known by his name, each one has a special value, God will not be satisfied with a specific group, but He wants every person in His creation to be saved and to be in His bosom.
Father continues: I will tell you a story, my son:
In a village there was a father that has seven boys; one day, one of them died in a car accident, so, people tried to comfort the father who was very sad saying “oh, my son, peter. May our Lord depart your soul, my son.”
-our Lord comfort you Abu Mina, our Lord gives you patience.
Father continues: but the mayor of the country was a tough-hearted man, so, when he found him mourning for his son, he said to him “why are you so sad? If one of your children died, there are six children left.”
Offering one soul that repents to God is better than all the offerings, as there is nothing better for God than the human soul; because everything in the world passes away except the soul, it does not pass away. (saint John Climacus-brotherly love p.234)
so, the father said to him (with tears): thank God for everything
but everyone of them has a special value in my heart, like
the fingers of one hand, no one can be enough without the
Father said: does the father have the right to mourn his son? Or as the mayor says, six children are enough?!!
I said: of course, no son can take the place of his brother in the father’s heart. The mayor is a cruel man without feeling.
Father said: each of us in humanity is a child of God, it is not possible for one of us to take the place of the other in the heart of God, each one has a different imprint from the other, each one has a different DNA from the other. So,can anyone say that he has ten fingers so, he can dispense with one of them?!!
I said: of course not!!
Father said: we need to appreciate the value of each one in humanity, each one of a great value in the sight of God; we are not just creatures or slaves, we are children and there is a big difference between the word slaves and the word sons.
I asked: what do you mean, father?
Father answered: if one is just a slave, it will be possible for him to have an alternative, and he will be just a slave who does a specific work, and any other slave can do it, but the son can’t be dispensed with. No matter how large the number of children is, no one can do without one of them. If we realized that every human being is a son of God and is precious to Him, we will never hold our peace and will appreciate his value as a precious treasure.
“if you found a bowl full of gold, would you say to yourself why this person or that person doesn’t take it!! Rather, you initiate like a snatching wolf and take it before anyone!! May you have this longing for your fallen brothers, bearing in mind that you found a very valuable treasure.” (saint John Chrysostom-brotherly love p.238
Father continues: so, if we realized the value of each one in the humanity and how he is very important in the sight of God, and also, he is a child of God and so precious to God, we will never hold our peace; we will have very large energy and great motive to preach the fatherhood and the forgiveness of God for all creation in the world.
I said: yes, indeed. We need to realize the value of every soul and also, that a person is not just a slave but is a child of God.
What is the third perception needed to work with God, father?
Father answered: the third perception is to perceive our responsibilities and our capabilities.
we are responsible before God to deliver his message to the whole world, responsible to communicate his forgiveness, love and the news of the happy eternity to all peoples and nations. This is the last commandment of the Lord Jesus for us, to bear
witness of Him and preach His kingdom; this is a
The soul is very precious and the whole world will not match it. Returning one soul to the path of righteousness and truth is better than thousands of money provided as mercy. (saint John Chrysostom-brotherly love p.238)
responsibility, not a choice.
“for if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast
of, for necessity is laid upon me, yes, woe is me
if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this
willingly, I have a reward, but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.” (1 Corinthians 9:16,17)
I asked: what does this verse mean, father?
Father answered: The Apostle Paul says: it is necessary for me to preach, and if I do this with joy, God will bless me and will give me grace, but if I preach against my will then preaching will be a responsibility that I am held accountable for.
Every Christian is responsible for witnessing and speaking about Christ to his family, his children, his relatives, his neighbors and to the whole world, each one according to his talents and capabilities.
There was a father who gathered his children and said to them: “children, the sea needs you to be watchful, and in order to cross in peace and be able to reach the port, it is necessary for you to remain constantly watchful, to know the right way and to stay away from the icebergs and away from the sea vortices.”
Then one of the children asked the father: “how can we know the right way?”
His father answered “I will give you a map with the right way, if you follow
it, you will arrive safely.”
The father, after he taught his children, he said to them “children, as I taught you how to cross the sea safely, please teach your children the right way lest they lost and perish, I will wait for you in the port. Please, every generation teaches the next generation, this is my last commandment.”
Father continues: unfortunately, after many years, some generations came that did not teach their children the right way, and were content with having reached the port, so, subsequent generations were lost at the sea and pirates also, sent spies to tell the children “the way is difficult and the sea is dangerous, don’t think that you will reach the port, you will be lost, so, don’t try in vain. Come live with us and at last we all will die.”
Father continues: indeed. Many of them surrendered to the lying words, and there are those who were lost and drowned in the middle of the sea, all of this was because of those who knew the road but did not tell their children.
And when anyone says to them “your brothers are drowning, why do you leave them like this? People will perish.”
They say “we are busy!! Whoever perishes, let him perish, it is sufficient for us that we have known Christ.
When someone says to them “people do not know the way and in need for someone to guide them.”
They answer “the important thing is that we know Christ and we go to church and have communion; this is enough for us.”
And people cry out “please help us, we are perishing-we need to know Christ-someone can preach us, please save us.”
But they answer with negligence “we are busy-what do you mean with evangelism?!!-everyone cares about himself-evangelism is for disciples only.”
Father asked: what can we call this?
I answered: the least that can be said about this is dishonesty.
Father said: we are also like this, if we do not tell our children, brothers and those around us about the way of Christ, then this is a betrayal of the trust.
Betrayal of our Heavenly Father, who said “go and make disciples of all nations and teach them all that I have commanded you!!”
How can we say that we are Christians and we will go to heaven while leaving those around us deprived of the love of Christ?!!
How can we say that we are Christians and we do not obey our Heavenly Father, also, we do not feel His feelings for humanity that perish.
God says to us “children, please appreciate my feelings, every person in humanity I ransomed by my blood, every person is my son and I want all people to be saved and to live with me in eternity. Please, be faithful to my will to you. You who knew my love have a great responsibility. Everyone who knows my love is responsible for communicating it to his brothers in mankind and this will be the real proof that he knew my love and trusted my eternity; when he speaks about it and preaches it.
Do not let the worries of this world distract you from your great message; do not let your fear or your feeling with shame prevent you from telling about my forgiveness and my eternity; this is a responsibility and not a choice. It is the responsibility of everyone who knows my love and trusts my eternity, to preach and not to hold his peace.
Father continues: so, if we appreciate our responsibility and that we-as we knew the way of salvation-accepted the fatherhood of God, knew His forgiveness, and trusted in His kingdom; it is necessary that we tell our brothers in humanity the right way and not to leave them to perdition. we can never hold our peace.
I said: but we are so weak, father. You are talking about high level in spiritual life, and about people like the disciples or the apostles.
Father said: indeed. What we say needs the work of the Holy Spirit in us, and this is the reason for our weakness nowadays, that we are not aware of our power. We don’t realize the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in us as it was in the disciples, and without this awareness, we will not be able to do anything and we will remain paralyzed.
Also, evangelism will become a burden and a great concern.
I cannot believe the salvation of a person who does not work for the salvation of his brother. (saint John Chrysostom-brotherly love p.242)
God gave us the responsibility to preach. He also gave us the ability to preach.
Jesus said: “but you shall receive power when the Holy
Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses
to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
without the power of the Holy Spirit and without
our complete confidence that who worked in
the disciples will also work in us, we will remain
weak and no matter how we realize our
responsibility, we will not be able to fulfill it.
I asked: ok, but how does the Holy Spirit work
in us as He did in the disciples?
Father answered: for the Holy Spirit to work in
us as He was working in the disciples, we need
First thing we need is faith:
Jealousy for the sake of the salvation of souls in the sight of God is better than performing miracles. (saint John Chrysostom-brotherly love p.235)
Our problem is that we don’t believe that God will
work in us as He did in the disciples, and thus we remain
in tiredness and guilt, so, we always feel that it is our duty
to speak and to preach like the disciples, but we can’t because
we don’t have the power of the Holy Spirit as they had.
I said: but they were very strong, father.
Father said: these thoughts are from the devil in order to frustrate you, my son, because the disciples had fear and also, they had their weaknesses like us, but they progressed in the faith step by step until they became strong and then they changed the whole world.
Saint John Chrysostom said:
“let us know that the nature of the Apostle Paul did not differ from ours in any way, but he was like us, and this makes what seems difficult and impossible for us to become easy and light.”
Father continues: the apostles were human beings like us, and they had our same weaknesses but they gradually progressed in grace and trusted in the work of God with them and the power of the Holy Spirit in them and then, they changed the whole world.
For example, apostle Mark, who preached in Egypt and changed it from the darkness of paganism to the light of Christ, do you know what he wrote about himself?!!
I asked: what did he write, father?
Father answered: he wrote that when the Lord Jesus went to the Garden of GETHSEMANE after the Passover and the Jews came to arrest Him, at that time Mark the apostle was a young man, so, he followed Him from afar, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body, so, the young men laid hold of him and then he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.
And when Paul and Barnabas took him with them on the first preaching journey, he was afraid of the sea and returned back, and when he wanted to go with them a second time, apostle Paul refused.
Mark the apostle who was afraid in the beginning of his life, by time he became great in the service and preached a great preaching, served in many places and also, he preached in Egypt and he changed it from worshiping idols to Christianity.
And as you see the world is heading towards darkness from pornography, atheism and homosexuality; the world needs preaching anew and the hope is in the Coptic youth in which if the evangelistic spirit dwells in them, the whole world will change.
One of the servants said:
“amidst the currents of the evil world, hope is in the Coptic youth who are full of the spirit of the fathers; if the spirit of evangelism dwells in them, the whole world will change. Everywhere they go, they will be a cause of blessing and an extension of the kingdom of God in all the peoples.
And just as those who were dispersed, because of the distress that occurred after the martyrdom of Stephen, preached the word everywhere; the Copts who migrate in all countries of the world_ if they have the spirit of evangelism_ will be a reason for spreading the word of the gospel everywhere in the world and for changing all the peoples.”
In vain, a creature, no matter how strong is his character, and propriety in his speech, tries to convert evil man to a good one, because this is the work of the creator himself, who is able to change the fallen human nature. So, the service of the new testament is the creation of a new person through baptism and the renewal of baptism through repentance, and both actions require the intervention of the Holy Spirit. (saint John Chrysostom-brotherly love p.256)
Father continues: so, the first thing you need to let the Holy Spirit work in you is to believe that the Holy Spirit who worked in the disciples, He also can work in you.
The second thing you need to let the Holy Spirit work in you is to be faithful in what is least.
I asked: what do you mean by to be faithful in what is least?
Father answered: I mean, no matter how few our capabilities and how weak are our talents, we trust that God can use and bless us. Unfortunately, we are only be happy with the lot and don’t appreciate the value of the little, and because we are not faithful in what is least, we don’t take much.
Jesus said “he who is faithful in what is least, is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least, is unjust also in much.” (Luke 16:10)
So, he who is faithful in what is least, will be faithful when he takes much; while he who has a little but he is not faithful in it, he will not take much.
Like a junior employee, when he is failing in his job, can he rise and become a general manager?!!
I answered: of course, not. But he could also be fired from his job.
Father said: this is how we are, if we are unfaithful in the little, we will not take much and we may also lose this little. But when we are faithful in the little, God will bless us
and give us much.
One time, the Lord Jesus taught many crowds, and after he had finished teaching, he wanted to feed the multitudes. So, a child with Him offered Him five loaves and two fish. The child was not ashamed and did not despise the little that he possessed,but he simply offered this little to Christ.
That is why Christ blessed the little that he owned and used it and filled many multitudes with it.
So, offer what you have and do not despise it, but be happy with it and present it with all concern as if you were going to present the greatest thing.
Do not be ashamed to say a word or present a small book. Do not underestimate doing (SHARE) to spiritual thing, for the little that is in your hands, God can do a lot with it, and also, to bless it and to use it to change many crowds.
I said: indeed. Our problem is that we don’t value the little and we wait for the much.
Father said: we need to be faithful and to appreciate the least, even if it is one word or a small book. This is the beginning. If we are faithful in it, we will take the most. Also, God does not rejoice in what we offer, but with the love and the faith that are the motives to what we offer.
The poor woman did not despise the two mites, but presented them with joy and love. It is possible that the devil said to her: “what are these two mites?!! How will they benefit the temple? These are many people who have offered hundreds and thousands, so, how can you not be ashamed of these two mites?!!”
But she did not give in to these malicious thoughts, and for sure she said to him: “really, they are a simple thing, but I will present them and God will accept them. These are all I have, and if I have more, I will give. I trust that God will give me more, and then I will offer the most for Him.”
And the Lord Jesus praised this poor woman and said: “assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury, for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
So, when we are faithful in what is least, God will give us the much. When we appreciate the little and offer it with joy as it is a great treasure, God will see our faithfulness and will give us more and more.
So, every servant in the Sunday school needs to appreciate the value of the children served and to see each one of them as disciples and apostles of the future, and also to treat each boy of them as if he were Paul the Apostle and each girl as if she is saint Damiana. If this hope is found in us towards them, it will be transferred to them and they will have the same hope towards themselves.
I said: I wish the servants would do this instead of the frustrating speech and reprimand leading to despair and depression.
Father said: one of the Sunday school servants was doing something very beautiful in his class. He used to name each child by one of the names of the apostles, for example, one called him Peter and the other Mark, and he was bringing a map for the world and say to them “each one chooses a country and prays for it in order to know Christ and to deliver to it the light of the gospel. So, each of you choose a country to preach in.”
Then the children were happy, interacting with him and saying:
-I like China because it has a lot of people, so, I will pray for China.
-And I will choose Kenya because my cousin works as a dentist there and he tells us a lot about it.
-I would choose the Philippines because I heard that there, the girls are working while they are still young.
Then this servant was saying to them: “you are like the disciples; you are responsible to deliver the gospel to the whole world. So, each one chooses a country and prays for it before sleeping every day.
And now let’s pray and let everyone prays for the country he chose saying “please Lord, bless country of ……, let it know your love and forgiveness.”
When you grow up, you will see the result of your prayers, and if you do not see it now, you will see it in heaven; because as you know that prayers can’t go in vain.”
Father continues: so, when we raise children like this from a young age, they will be filled with the spirit of evangelism, and they will become evangelists like the apostles and the disciples when they grow up.
So, we need the evangelistic spirit to return to the families and homes; we need every family to pray for a country everyday at the family altar.
Also, if the evangelistic spirit entered our monasteries, a great work would happen.
One of the servants said: “our monasteries are a source of great strength; if the spirit of evangelism enters there, they will be a cause of change and a blessing for the whole world.
If every monastery specializes in praying for a specific country and if there is a special daily prayer called the preaching prayers; and also, if they allow young people from these countries to come and enroll in a school of preaching in every monastery; they study and learn in it and then return to their countries to preach and serve; by this, they will be a cause of light, a blessing and a change for many souls.
Just as monasteries have succeeded in operating farms and factories, by the grace of Christ they can succeed in making schools of evangelism and to concern for the salvation of the peoples and the nations that did not know God and did not experience His love.”
I said: is not the task of monasteries to pray, and not to preach, and to be far from the world?
Father said: forgive me son, anyone asks this question is not a realistic person. I am not saying that monks come to the world, but I say that monasteries adopt young people from countries that need evangelism in order for them to study evangelism. We desperately need the spirit of evangelism in us!! We need to realize the salvation of our souls first, in order for us to have jealousy for the salvation of others.
Father continues: we can revise the points that we have discussed today:
We have discussed the motives to work with God, the first one was:
I said: to perceive God’s favor for us, God’s fatherhood, His free forgiveness and the good eternity.
Father said: the second perception is:
I said: to perceive the value of every soul, which is the blood of Jesus Christ and every person is a child of God and unique by his name and God can’t dispense one child for another.
Father said: the third perception is:
I said: to perceive our responsibility and our capability.
Father said: and we need two things to let the Holy Spirit work in us as He worked in the disciples.
I said: yes, they are faith and faithfulness
First: to believe that the Holy Spirit can work in us as He worked in the disciples.
Second: to be faithful in what is least.
Please father, tell me the discipline for today.
Father said: two things
First: to revise the discipline of the prayer of filling of the Holy Spirit, ask while you are eating to be filled with the Holy Spirit, “Lord, please fill me with the Holy Spirit.”
I said: oh, yes, I will do it. what is the second discipline, father?
Father said: to be faithful in what is least as we mentioned last time, that is to mean: sharing spiritual thing, giving small spiritual book and to remember to pray with your family for a country in the family altar every day.
I said: ok, father. I will do all of that. Pray for me please.
Father said: prayers of our mother Saint Mary and all Saints are with you, son.